A Homestead Valley Politician


June, 2009

Photo of John D. Saxe

Photo of John D. Saxe

The Tamalpais Union High School District was formed by the union of the Sausalito and Mill Valley Elementary School Districts. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on September 20, 1906. Mill Valley representatives were John J. Newbegin, Michael M. O’Shaughnessy and Clinton Folger, all three distinguished citizens. Tam High opened in August 1908. In April 1909, John D. Saxe of Homestead Valley was elected to replace John Newbegin on the Board of Trustees. In 1911, Folger and Saxe were re-elected and praised for their work in obtaining overwhelming voter approval of a $35,000 bond issue.Who was John D. Saxe of Homestead Valley? Born in Santa Clara in 1868, he lived in Belvedere from 1896 to 1904. He moved to San Francisco and married Alice Aguirre of the old Castilian Spanish family that had arrived in 1846. He worked first as a telegrapher and then became an insurance broker. In 1906, their house at Lombard and Taylor was destroyed in the earthquake and fire. They fled to Belvedere. In 1908, they bought a lot on Linden Lane at Reed Street in Homestead Valley and built a house there. He commuted to his insurance agency at 19 Leidersdorf in San Francisco’s financial district.

Mill Valley's Park School in 1910. MVU2016v1

Mill Valley’s Park School in 1910.
MVU2016v1 – Courtesy of the Lucretia Little History Room, Mill Valley Public Library

In 1909, John D. Saxe ran for School Trustee of the Mill Valley Elementary School District.Homestead School had opened in January 1908. The Mill Valley Independent endorsed Clinton Folger and E.A. Evans for election to the two openings, but noted that Homestead voters were supporting Saxe and Folger. “The only fight is between Evans and Saxe.” A week later the Independent reported that Folger and Saxe had been elected. “The vote that was piled up to the credit of Saxe was a surprise, for he polled the largest vote of the three candidates and defeated E.A. Evans. The large vote for Saxe is due to the zeal of his friends and the fact that many voted for him alone, the method of single shotting being designed to give him a winning vote. Saxe is a prominent business man of San Francisco who represents the people of Homestead Valley, and will no doubt make an excellent school trustee.” Saxe was reelected in 1911. Both Saxe and Folger served simultaneously on the Board of Trustees of both the Mill Valley Elementary and Tamalpais Union High School Districts.

In 1910, John D. Saxe was the Republican party nominee for County Assessor. The Marin Journal endorsed him. “This is a Republican county and there is no reason why the Republicans should give this important office to a Democrat.” Saxe lost by 2 to 1.

In 1914, John and Alice Saxe moved to 84 Buena Vista in Mill Valley where they lived until they died, he in 1946, she in 1967.

If you have comments or questions about this article or other topics
pertaining to the history of Homestead Valley,
please feel free to e-mail Chuck Oldenburg.